Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Purple Pig

The Purple Pig is all about Cheese, Swine, & Wine. It is a collaboration between Chefs Scott Harris of Mia Francesca, Jimmy Bannos Jr. and Jimmy Bannos Sr. of Heaven on Seven.

We first went through the iron The Purple Pig gate on Michigan Ave only to find that there is not an entrance to the restaurant on upper Illinois. We quickly realized that the entrance must be inside the 500 N Michigan Ave building, and sure enough the security guard pointed us towards down the hall to the entrance. There was a line of people waiting, all holding glasses of wine. We too decided to enjoy a bottle of Portuguese allentejo while we waited, grateful that we were indoors in the warmth. About an hour later, we were finally seated.

I was in the mood for antipasti, cheese, and wine. I ordered an excellent selection of olives and pickles, a heavenly whipped feta with cucumbers spread, and sicilian marinated eggplant. The whipped feta was light, had good salt, and was delicious.

I was quite pleased with the cheese selection and decided on a selection of 3 cheeses:
  • Delice de bourgogne. French, cow. What's not to love? It is buttery, creamy, tangy with nice acidity but not overly salty.
  • Capriole O'bannon. US, goat. I am not a fan of this cheese. I appreciate the sweet tang of the bourbon soaked chestnut leaf but the cheese itself is creamy, chalky, and lacks any oomph. I love fresh goat cheese that is light (less chalky) and lemony. Capriole O'Bannon is mild, unripened, even bland.
  • Covadonga. Spanish, cow/sheep. Soft, blue, milder than valdeon but still spicy, salty.
My dining companion ordered prosciutto bread balls and pork blade steak with 'nduja & honey. The latter was a bit dry, but otherwise good.

It was a fun night. Would love to try more of their wines.

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